Miracles of our Times
The last of our oil I give to you, Panagia!
It is 24 March 1942 and the Second World War is waging across Europe. Shortages, sickness, hunger everywhere. I am in my home town of Drama in occupied Northern Greece, where I have an aunt who lives here. She is a widow with five children: her husband died in the fighting of 29 September 1941. On this the eve of the Annunciation of the Theotokos, my aunt takes stock of her meagre food store. All she has left is a thimble full of olive oil and a handful of corn flour.
“At least tomorrow, the Feast Day of the Annunciation, I will be able to feed my children. After this God only knows what will happen” she says aloud. Suddenly my aunt notices that the light of the oil lamp hanging before the icon of Panagia has gone out. At once, decisively, making the sign of the cross she cries out “My children are hungry but the last of our oil I give to you, Panagia. I will light your oil lamp because tomorrow is such an important day for our Faith. Mother of God, please undertake to feed my children”! And so she lights the oil lamp and the light of the lamp shines with such a serene light that her heart fills with peace.
The next day, upon opening the pantry cupboard, my aunt is astonished to find a vessel filled to the brim with olive oil and two full bags of flour! She makes the sign of the cross many times and gives thanks to God and Panagia for this miracle. Until the end of the War, neither the oil in the vessel nor the flour in the bags depletes. My aunt feeds her family and gives charity to other needy families. And yes, the light of the oil lamp is never allowed to go out, a witness to the real and living faith of this blessed woman, my aunt.
Source: December-January 2014 Lychnos Edition
Sources: Experiences During the Divine Liturgy, by Protopresbyter Stephanos Anagnostopoulos, and http://www.pentapostagma.gr/2013/06/ladaki-panagia.html